Another day at home, as I'm still too "chesty" to risk going into work.
I just had to shoo away a big fat black cat that was about to do a big fat dump in front of the garden shed. I don't know what it is about my house and garden that attracts so many cats. This morning I had to shoo away a neighbour's black and white fluffy cat from out of my bedroom - not once, but three times.
I've commented before on the squadrons of cats I see making a beeline for my house when I leave for work. This constant stream of feline visitors is getting out of hand. But what can I do, short of scooping up the offending moggies and delivering them back to their owners (in the cases where I can ascertain from which houses the cats come from) and demanding money for the cat food stolen, etc?
They'd tell me to **** off, wouldn't they? (The owners, that is, not the cats. The cats would most likely meow and scratch me.)
So, here's an alternative plan. I could set up a Cat Flap Web Cam and through the medium of the internet invite web visitors to see how many different cats they could spot going in through the cat flap. Perhaps I could have a facility to "take a snap" so that we could document each feline visitor, displaying photos of each and a league table of return visitors on the website. Of course, I'd need to post a photo of my own cat and point out to site visitors that he's allowed inside.
I think this idea has potential. Just think, we could have chat rooms and fan forums for the various cats, and perhaps some kind of game, predicting the next cat through the flap. I think the idea could be a real winner, and could be the hit of the web.
I would consider some kind of remote control water pistol allowing web visitors to drench unwelcome moggies, although some trigger happy types would most likely give my own cat a squirting too, so I think we'd have to forget about that idea.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:52 pm
Sunday, March 30, 2003
Shaking All Over
No, I haven't taken a turn for the worse, but this annoying flu thing is still bugging me.
I've been having a very lazy weekend. Yesterday was so uneventful that there is almost nothing to report.
I was really peeved that for some reason the BBC were not showing Jonathan Creek last night. Has the series ended already? In my desperation for some kind of televisual entertainment, I switched over to ITV and watched Reborn in the USA. This week the contestants were performing Elvis songs in Memphis.
Which got me thinking. Like all the best songs, Elvis's were pretty simple really. And ought to be easy to play on the guitar. After a quick search on the net I spent the next hour, Danelectro in hand, playing Elvis songs.
This morning I couldn't work out why I felt so tired and the undeniable need to stay in bed. Surely, with the advent of British Summer Time, I ought to gain an hour I told myself.
Got it wrong again. It's lose an hour, fool! It all started to make sense once I worked this out.
D'Oh! as our follically-challenged yellow friend would say.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:19 pm
Friday, March 28, 2003
Not a lot
Another day at home doing nothing much really. Well, you didn't expect me to build another guitar, did you? I watched Bill Bailey's "Bewilderness" video - v funny, but it took me ages to work out why the picture was so peculiar - it turned out that it was the widescreen version. I thought he was looking surprisingly svelte.
Then about 4:00pm I suddenly realised I needed to go to the bank to pay a bill before I get a penalty incurred against me for late payment, so I had a mad dash into town that I could have well done without.
Tonight, when my headache finally cleared, I had a good old bash on the guitar, and ended up playing the Danelectro the most which would seem to be my current favourite instrument.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:55 pm
Thursday, March 27, 2003
Creep creep creep
...oh, and I had a really crawly bum lick email from Amazon, apologising for the scanner fiasco. It seems that my complaints did get reported back after all.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 7:18 pm
Off sick again today, but after having a lie-in this morning I decided that I couldn't just laze about the house doing nothing, I wanted something to occupy myself with, so I went through my box of guitar bits and pieces and have built a Stratocaster type guitar. I had to bodge it here and there, for example where screw holes didn't align properly, but the point is this: it works and it sounds great.
That's two guitars in one week! Eeeeeks! Wonders will never cease!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:36 pm
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
More fun and games
My sore throat got a whole lot worse last night and by the time I awoke this morning the infection had moved to my chest. I had one of my headaches too, so I phoned in to work to say I wouldn't be coming in.
The idea was just to have a peaceful day in bed, reading and relaxing, no stress and no strain.
The best laid plans of mice and men...
At 9:00 a ParcelForce delivery came and I had to sign for this enormous package. Oh goody, I thought, it's my Amazon order at last. The main part of the order was a scanner - this one in fact. Except that wasn't what they'd sent me. Oh no, they'd sent me this; the difference being that the one I actually ordered has the facility to scan slides and negatives whereas the one they sent me is an inferior model which cannot.
I was furious, and went straight onto the telephone to complain. With the end result that I had to repackage the scanner and cart the bloody thing down to the post office and send it back recorded delivery. Which cost £16.02. I phoned them back afterwards to give them the tracking number and reclaim the postage. "How long will it take for you to refund that?" I asked. "At least 7 days," she answered. "What? You were quick enough to take the money out of my acount when I placed the order two weeks ago," I returned.
I ended up giving her a right bollocking, explaining that I am currently quite sick and shouldn't really be having to carry great boxes to the post office because of someone else's incompetence. I know that it was not was her fault, but perhaps with a bit of luck she'll pass on my displeasure with the whole situation to the powers that be.
So... Amazon - a company I have supported and given my custom to on many an occassion - you now have a Gina Snowdoll BLACK MARK against you. Very very poor service.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:44 pm
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Thrombosis? What was I talking about? I think he may have said "Thyroid problems". I can't remember, but I know it was something beginning with "T".
Today I've got this awful sore throat. I hope this isn't the start of some awful buggy thing. My mum recently had a bad bout of something - she was in bed for over a week, and too weak to do anything.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:07 pm
Monday, March 24, 2003
Down at the Doctors
I've just been to see the Doc, and because I'd been complaining of constant tiredness he gave me a blood test to see if I'm suffering from anaemia or ... something else... What was it he said? Thrombosis? (Or did I make that up?)
I'll get the results at the end of the week.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:35 am
Saturday, March 22, 2003
Book 'em, Dan-o
Today, the plan was just to chill out and laze about the house, but it turns out that I've not been idle and I am actually quite pleased with myself for what I have achieved today.
In short, I have built a guitar.
It wasn't actually a very difficult project, seeing as what I was doing was basically making a new guitar from the parts of two broken ones, but I feel that given my recent state that it is an achievement to be proud of.
This morning I received a parcel containing a recent eBay win. This was a broken Danelectro 56-U2 guitar. Apparently the guy who was selling it had a clumsy friend who dropped it on some wooden flooring and the head and end of the neck smashed to pieces. So, this guy put up the remains of the guitar for auction thinking someone would be able to use the parts - perhaps cannibalise it for the lipstick-tube pickups which are quite desireable.
I saw the auction and thought, "Yes! Just what I'm looking for", because it just so happened that I had a Danelectro 56-U2 neck complete with machine heads in my box of guitar parts and spares! What luck was that?
So, I thought, it would just be a simple task to bolt the neck to the body and - Hey Presto! A new guitar!
But it wasn't to be so easy, as it turned out that the bolt holes in the body did not match up to those in the neck. I ended up filling in the holes in the back of the neck with wood filler (pressing it right down into the holes using matchsticks!) and then drilling new holes. After that the neck fitted wonderfully, and then it was just a matter of stringing it up and tuning it.
Then came the real test - plug it in and play. It sounded wonderful! Those Danolectros have a fabulous tone - I think it's those retro lipstick-tube pickups. In fact, I like this guitar so much I think I am going to keep it for myself and sell one of my others instead (that'll be the Telecaster copy).
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:23 pm
Sparks, Royal Festival Hall, London, 21 March 2003
Did yesterday's picture give you a clue as to what I was doing last night?
I remember hearing Sparks doing "This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us" back in 1974 or 75 (or whenever it was), and it totally blew me away. I'd never heard anything like that before. Fast forward many years to 1994 when I bought the CD of "Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins" out of curiosity and absolutely loved it. I then went out and bought loads of CDs from Sparks' back catalogue, and enjoyed albums chock full of great tunes, witty and intelligent lyrics.
So, last night - at very short notice - I got the chance to finally go see one of my fave bands. The show was divided into two parts. For the first part, Sparks performed their latest album, "Li'l Beethoven", in its entirety. Now you may think that a "band" comprised of a singer and a guy playing keyboards would not be too interesting to watch, but Sparks proved to present a very visually entertaining show.
For starters, it wasn't just the two of them as they also had their drummer, the talented Tammy Glover, and guitarist Dean Menta formerly of Faith No More performing with them. Then there were the graphics - seven archways across the stage onto which video images were projected, including many sequences of Ron (the guy who people say looks like Hitler, although I think he's more like Charlie Chaplin) dancing.
For "How Do I Get To Carnegie Hall" Ron came out on stage with 6-foot long arms, and proceeded to "play" the piano at a distance with them! On "Ugly Guys With Beautiful Girls" he promanaded the stage with a dolly bird on his arm as Russell sang the narrative of the song.
Most of the backing tracks were obviously sequenced; obvious because Ron more often than not came out from behind his keyboard to mime, dance and act out the songs whilst brother Russell sang his little heart out!
After the interlude, part two of the show began with Ron doing a little dance to "This Is A Sparks Show" and then we were treated to a selection of The Best Of Sparks, beginning with a medley of "The Number One Song In Heaven" and "Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth".
Loads of favourites followed: "Beat The Clock", "Aeroflot", "B.C." (the first time they'd played it live since 1975 at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon), "Something For The Girl With Everything", "When I'm With You", "When I Kiss You (I Hear Charlie Parker Playing)" and - of course - "This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us".
The crowd called out for more and Sparks returned for two more songs: "Amateur Hour" and my own personal favourite "When Do I Get To Sing My Way".
A fantastic show! If you ever get the chance to go see them, then I'd say don't miss out as they rarely play gigs in this country anyway. Having seen the gig I can understand the tag they've been given of "Art-Pop", as much of the imagery they used made me think of the artists Gilbert and George (if you don't know who I mean, go visit the Tate Modern), particularly the way in which they used their own image - well, that is, Ron's visage - in the graphics, as if it was a trademark of the band.
Thanks and Big Hugs to Annie for getting tickets and treating me! The both of us have been ill for the last few months and it was the first big night out for the two of us. We were both quite exhausted, but I know I for one wouldn't have missed it for the world.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:06 pm
"I am personally convinced that war is wrong, no matter how good the cause. I am also convinced that although a war can be fought for a what is believed to be an honourable reason, such as with the intention of forming a peaceful society, the war itself, by causing so much death and destruction, defeats its own object. Human suffering, pain, misery, separation and bereavement are inevitable when wars are fought. Violence, when opposed by violence, creates a set of circumstances in which more violence will inevitably follow. Revenge, retribution and reprisal become predominant in people's minds. They seek to hurt others because they themselves have been hurt..."
The Separation, Christopher Priest
Perhaps he should take a leaf out of Michael Jackson's book and get himself a chimp.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:24 pm
The Osbournes and a Bad Hair Day
Last night I watched two episodes of The Osbournes on MTV. Now, I don't know if it was the sight of the gormless and hairy Jason Dill (friend of Jack's) who spends all his time scratching his head, or if I'd imagined one of the cat's fleas had jumped onto me (for I'd been grooming him with his flea comb) but for one reason or the other I had a very itchy head and kept scratching at my hair.
In the end I could stand it no more and even though it was just about time to go to bed, I went and washed my hair.
Going to bed having just washed your hair is bad news. Today, my hair is totally out of control; it's all fluffed up and I can do nothing with it. I look like I have a cat sitting on my head. Actually, it's the kind of hairstyle that Kelly Osbourne would consider to be really cool, so I'd better watch out or she'll be copying me again!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:19 pm
Bah! Mobile phones confuse the hell out of me. I got a new one at the end of January and haven't been able to get it to work. I bought a voucher for £10 and tried registering it, but the credit would just not go on.
I've just been to the O2 shop (yeah, I know I've left it a while, but I have been ill, remember) to try to get it all sorted out and it looks like the number I thought I was using is for a different SIM card. See, I was given a second SIM card originally when I got the thing. Damn stupid people in the shop never told me that it had a separate phone number associated with it.
So, now I have to check back at home to see if I can find the original SIM card and if that has credit on it from the time I tried registering my voucher.
As I said, all very confusing. There was no simple guide to how to start using the bloody thing. What's needed is a Noddy Guide, because not all of us understand these things as easily as the average 14 year old.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:36 pm
Billy is an inflatable little boy who lives in an inflatable town where there are inflatable people and inflatable houses. One day during lessons at his inflatable school Billy is behaving very badly. His inflatable teacher tells Billy to stand in the corner for the rest of the lesson as punishment for his bad behaviour.
Billy is very upset at this and whilst in the corner he picks up a pin from off the floor. At the end of the lesson Billy goes up to his inflatable teacher and sticks the pin in him, he then runs to the outside of the inflatable school and sticks the pin in that as well.
As Billy is running off he sees the headmaster running after him and not wanting to get a good telling off he sticks the pin in himself.
The headmaster catches Billy up as he is deflating and says to him very crossly "Billy, my boy, we are all very upset with you. Not only have you let your teacher down, you've let the school down, but most of all you've let yourself down."
(Ta to Eddieho on the Damned message board for that one)
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:13 am
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
It was great to see a couple of my heroes - Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks on Never Mind The Buzzcocks last night. Particularly amusing was the sight of Ron trying not to laugh and remain aloof looking thoughout. What a strange man he is, but musical geniuses - the pair of them!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:59 am
I have decided to allow the domains sherri-gina.com and sherri-gina.co.uk to expire. These were originally purchased for the Sherri and Gina Photo Album website, but since last year when Sherri decided that she wanted a lower profile on the net, these names have been somewhat redundant.
These domains should expire as of today, so please note that after today you will no longer be able to email me on either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org - you will need to use my email address as given elsewhere on this blog.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:24 am
Monday, March 17, 2003
I've let it slip a few days again. Sorry about that once again, folks. I had my parents over this weekend so there was hardly any time for blogging. We did a few family things, which was nice, but I still found that I got very tired easily.
Sunday night after Mum and Dad had gone home was spent lazing on the sofa watching telly, and today I was back at work once again.
I had an amusing encounter with some builders this morning when I pointed out to them that a kitten was trying to climb up inside the engine of their van. It was quite comical watching these gruff geezers peering under the van trying to coax the kitten out, making cooing noises at it, etc.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:18 pm
Friday, March 14, 2003
I must again apologise for the recent sparsity of posts. Hhhhmmm... slightly dodgy syntax there, I think, but never mind, you know what I mean.
At the beginning of the week I was trying to work longer days and I think I must have pushed myself too much. With the result that come Tuesday night I felt shattered and haven't felt much better since. The headaches and the shakes and the tiredness all returned so I went home from work early on both Wednesday and Thursday.
I've not being doing much at home - just laying about on the sofa, reading, watching videos, etc. Last night I watched a few episodes from the first series of Black Books (thanks Angie!!!) - I had the cat sitting on me and I was laughing so much that he must have thought there was an earthquake going on, and then looking at the disapproval in his face made me laugh all the more. I also watched an old Doctor Who story that I've had lying around for a while- The Ark featuring William Hartnell as the Doctor and Peter Purves as Steven. Oh, and some strange creatures that were men dressed up in flippers, Beatle wigs and with a ping-pong ball in their mouths as if it was some kind of eye. Very bizarre!
Tonight I've got my Mum and Dad visiting for the weekend, so I'll have to make sure I get home early enough so that I can tidy up a little. I'm going to let them sleep in my bed, so I'll need to make up the bed and make my room look presentable - pick up all the clothes and tidy away all the high heels that are all over the floor.
Quick message to Karen if you're looking in: I hope you're OK! Your blog seems to have vanished and I've been worried about you. HUGS, Gina,xx
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:09 pm
I was going to write something tonight, but I've had a busy day at work, and tonight my medication has really wiped me out much more than normal. I'm so tired I feel I can hardly keep my eyes open.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 7:52 pm
Monday, March 10, 2003
...tape Being John Malkovich on Channel 4 last night? I was watching 24 which was on at the same time on BBC2 so I tried to record the movie, but accidentally recorded the wrong channel.
If anyone can help, please drop me a line.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:14 pm
So, in the end the weekend was rather wasted. Because of my neighbour problems Saturday morning I was extremely tired and ended up falling asleep all afternoon. In the evening I watched a little telly and read my book, and then the next day I spent most the morning in bed, watched telly, read, etc.
This morning I woke up at about 10 o'clock and was really annoyed at having missed the alarm, so that I'd be getting in really late for work.
Then I woke up again and realised that the whole thing had been a lucid dream. I had a period of going through a series of lucid dreams (astral projection, call it what you will) a number of years ago. It seems it might have come back again. (It can get very confusing).
Anyway, this time I had woken up with the alarm at 8:00, so all was well. I got into work for 9:30 which was early for me seeing as I've been working reduced hours. Got a hell of a lot done - which was good as I needed to get back on track - but lost steam by mid-afternoon and left work at 4:00.
Hopefully soon I'll be able to manage a full day.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:10 pm
Saturday, March 08, 2003
I've had an awful night. I was woken at around 3:00 by the idiot next door shouting and making unintelligible noises. I think he must have been drunk. I then couldn't get back to sleep for over an hour. I heard Karen come in from her night shift at about 4:00. I fell asleep sometime after that and had some very disturbed dreams.
I was woken again at about 6:00 by the same neighbour making very odd grunting noises (possibly having sex, although I couldn't hear his partner so he may just have been masturbating furiously). This went on for about an hour or so. Yes, I did bang the wall and I did call out for him to be quiet, all to no effect. All I achieved was to bang a hole in my bedroom wall with the heel of my foot. I had forgotten the wall was plasterboard. Now that will need repairing, so ypu could say that I was rather annoyed and at the end of my tether by this point.
Karen got up - furious with me and with the neighbour - and put her TV on loud in her room, went downstairs, turned the washing machine on and then played a Madonna CD at full blast. It was deafening and very unlikely to resolve anything and will most probably just make matters worse. She's going away in a few days - I'm the one who has to put up with the aftermath, not her.
I could no longer stand it, so I got dressed quickly and went to Tesco to do some shopping for the weekend, get the paper, etc. I came back home and went on to the net to see what can be done about noisy neighbours.
Apparently I need to keep a diary recording the times of disturbances for at least 14 days. Then I can contact the Environmental Health Unit who will consider how to handle the whole business.
More stress that I do not need.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:55 am
Famous last words, eh? No sooner do I say that I've been feeling better recently, than I start feeling crappy again. Yesterday, however, I somehow managed to work for a whole 6 hours (which is a lot for me right now). I had a meeting with a consultant I use for the back-end of our website at work, and he was running late so I wasn't able to leave for home until 4:30. I felt really tired in the meeting. I just can't take long hours at work right now.
In other news I've had more pressies! People are so lovely! I had a package from America containg four Damned CDs including lots of rarities, b-sides, 12 inch mixes, etc, and also a VHS video of clips of Captain Sensible from various TV shows from over the years.
Then I had another package arrive from Amazon containing a Bill Bailey video. Splendid stuff - I think I'll watch that this weekend. The person sending that is one of this blog's readers - so thanks and big hugs to you! (You know who you are!!!!)
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:18 pm
Tuesday, March 04, 2003
...I almost forgot. Today is my Blog Birthday! Two whole years of Gina Snowdoll's Eeeeeks! It's a Blog! Can you believe it?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:10 am
I've been feeling a bit better over the past few days. My head feels a lot clearer. However, I am still finding doing even the simplest of things very tiring, and have been suffering from almost constant headaches.
This morning though, no headache! Hurrah! I actually listened to some music on my way into work, namely "I'm Alright Jack and the Beanstalk" by The Damned (but don't tell Captain I've been listening to the "Woolworth's line-up", as he calls it).
Speaking of The Damned here are a couple of rarities:
P.S. Let's see Steve make some innuendo out of that title.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:14 pm
Saturday, March 01, 2003
Damned people are the nicest
This morning I received two packages from a couple of people from The Damned message board containing CDs by The Damned and David Bowie. I'd forgotten I'd ever discussed David Bowie with this one chap - what a good memory he has!
So, I have lots of new things to listen to now, and what's more I'd intended going to the record fair in Oxford later today, so no doubt will come home with a few more CDs.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:36 am